John Boyega says he will no longer serve as a global ambassador for the London-based perfume brand Jo Malone after the company decided to replace him in a commercial he created.
According to ABC News the brand decided to replace Bodega for ads in the Chinese market with Chinese actor Liu Haoran. The brand recently released a statement apologizing and calling the replacement a misstep.
Via Twitter, Boyega said Jo Malone’s decision to, “replace my campaign in China by using my concepts and substituting a local brand ambassador for me, without either my consent or prior notice, was wrong.”
“The film celebrated my personal story — showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family,” wrote Boyega. “While many brands understandably use a variety of global and local ambassadors, dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone.”
The ad by the company owned by Estée Lauder was set to feature the actor in his hometown of London. “The London Gent,” as it was called featured Boyega riding a horse in his old neighborhood, hanging with his friends and spending time with his family, all dressed in traditional Nigerian garb.
In the original version, the actor is seen dancing and celebrating with friends but in the Chinese ad, all of the Black actors have been replaced with Chinese actors.
This not the first time Boyega has called out the Chinese market for being racist. His character Finn in Star Wars was visibly smaller in size on the Chinese poster in comparison to the American version.
The ad has since been removed and the company issued this statement, “We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign.”
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